The 1989 NCAA Basketball Men’s Final — Michigan and Seton Hal


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

On April 3, 1989 at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington the Seton Hall Pirates (31-6) coached by P. J. Carlesimo met the Michigan Wolverines (29-7) coached by Bill Frieder and Steve Fisher for the 1989 NCAA Men’s championship.

Frieder coached the team to a 24-7 record and accepted the head coaching job at Arizona State for the next season with the intention of finishing out the season at Michigan. However, Michigan athletic director Bo Schembechler fired him and replaced him with Steve Fisher who finished the season as the Wolverines’ head coach.

Michigan defeated Xavier 92-87, South Alabama 91-82, North Carolina 92-87 and Virginia 102-65, to get to the Final Four where in the semifinal bested Illinois 83-81 to get to the final.

They were led by 6’ 7” senior forward Glen Rice (25.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg), 6’ 2” junior guard Rumeal Robinson (14.9 ppg, 6.3 apg), 6’ 9” junior forward Loy Vaught (12.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg), 6’ 10” junior center Terry Mills (11.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and 6’ 9” senior forward Sean Higgins (12.4 ppg).

Seton Hall got past Missouri State 60-51, Evansville 87-73, Indiana 78-65 and UNLV 84-61 to get to the Final Four where they defeated Duke 95-78 to get to the final.

They were led by 6’ 3 ‘senior guard John Morton (17.3 ppg), 6’ 7” junior guard Andrew Gage (13.6 ppg 4.5 rpg), 6’ 8” senior forward Ramon Ramos (11.9 ppg, 7.6 ppg), and 6’ 7” senior forward Daryll Walker (11.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg).

The game was close as Michigan led at halftime 37-32. But the Pirates, after being behind 51-39, outscored the Wolverines 39-34 in the second half behind the scoring of John Morton, who made a key three pointer to send the game into overtime for the first time since 1963 when Cincinnati and Loyola were in the final.

The overtime was close also and with three seconds left in the game, Rumeal Robinson made a place for himself in the Michigan history books as he sank two free throws to give the Wolverines an 80-79 lead and the win.

Glen Rice led Michigan with 31 points and 11 rebounds, Rumeal Robinson had 21 points and 11 assists and Sean Higgins added 10 points.

For Seton Hall John Morton had 35 points, Gerald Greene had 13 and Daryll Walker had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Michigan was back in the NCAA final in 1993 while Seton Hall has not been back since 1989.

Statistics for this article were from, and

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